Teddy Goodfellow was born May 4, 1997, in Memphis, Tennessee. His parents, Robert and Margaret Goodfellow, are both pharmacists and work for a major company based in Memphis. Teddy is their oldest child; he also has a younger sister, M. C. (short for Martha Catherine), who is a freshman accounting major at The University of Memphis.
Shortly after arriving in Oxford in the summer of 2016, Goodfellow changed his surname to Zeboe. The reasons for this change are not clear, but friends say he believed the catchy name would help him land more jobs in film and entertainment. Zeboe worked at the Rebel Inn in Oxford and was planning on financing and directing his own feature film when he obtained the required funding.
Friends of Zeboe say the film was to be called Crackin'. Zeboe described the plot one night in a drunken rant at a local tavern as an updated, college version of The Lost Weekend, the classic Ray Milland film about a down-and-out alcoholic writer barely surviving in a hotel room, lost in the drunken tremors. The difference in the two films, apparently, was that Zeboe's version was to include lots of soft pornography and a significant monologue from the main character on the benefits of promiscuous, continuous sexual activity. Witnesses have since said that Zeboe's film had nothing to do with The Lost Weekend, and he never mentioned the connection again.
Friends of Zeboe say that when he approached the University's theatre department with the film idea, he was turned down out of hand, and soon afterward, began telling everyone he was about to star in a major production being put together by Dalton Kimbrough. Apparently, Kimbrough put out a public call for actors and actresses and chose Zeboe at the audition to play the lead. Although Zeboe has stated that he offered Kimbrough the chance to direct his film, Crackin', Kimbrough also turned him down and pressed Zeboe to concentrate on his part in his film, Death to the Revelers.
In the aftermath of Kimbrough's murder, Zeboe confessed to the slaying, and witnesses who were present during rehearsals for the film say that the two men fluctuated between animosity and respect for each other. A definite tension existed between the two. Observers describe Kimbrough as authoritarian, dictatorial, and non-pliant in his demands, and say that he accused Zeboe on more than one occasion of trying to sabotage his film with his too-cool, James Dean-wannabe acting style.
Zeboe appears to be a passionate, strange young man with few ties to actual reality. He seems to live in a netherworld in which he is the ultimate object of all attention and affection. Friends describe him as overly vain, proud, and pompous, and believe that he will do or say anything—good or bad—to keep himself in the continual spotlight.